Taipei, Foreign nationals who entered Taiwan on or before March 21 for visits and have been unable to return home because of COVID-19 can get another 30-day extension of stay, the National Immigration Agency (NIA) said Friday.
The automatic extension will apply to foreign nationals who entered Taiwan visa free or on a visitor’s or landing visa on or before March 21 and have no record of overstaying, the NIA said in a statement.
The government has previously announced automatic 30-day visa extensions on March 21, April 17, May 18, June 15, July 17, Aug. 14, Sept. 14, and Oct. 15 to keep from forcing foreign nationals to leave Taiwan as COVID-19 surges and travel restrictions remain in place around the world.
The extension will be automatically registered on NIA systems, and no application will be required, the NIA said on its website, adding that passports can also be stamped upon request at NIA service stations.
The extension does not apply to those who have overstayed their visas, the NIA said.
Visitors would normally have to leave the country once their visa and regular extensions have expired.
Andrew Lin (林澤謙), director of the NIA’s Entry and Exit Affairs Division, told CNA the extension was because of the current COVID-19 situation.
“Increased movement across borders creates a higher chance of infection, so the extension is to remove the need (for visitors) to make transnational journeys,” Lin said.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 infections around the world have exceeded 52.7 million, with 1.3 million deaths, according to Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) data.
To date, Taiwan has recorded 597 cases of COVID-19, with 505 classified as imported. Of the total, 533 have recovered, seven have died, and 57 are in the hospital, according to the CECC.
Taiwan has not had a confirmed domestic infection since April 12.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel